Reading Cooperative Bank Depositors Vote to Keep Bank Private
Reading, MA – On December 2, depositors of Reading Cooperative Bank (RCB), a $448 million-asset community bank, voted to amend its bylaws to make it more difficult for the institution to convert to a publicly owned bank. The Bank’s status as a “cooperative” means that it is owned and managed by depositors, not shareholders. The approved change puts the following protections in the bylaws to strengthen the Bank’s cooperative status:
75 depositors voted, with the overwhelming majority approving the protections Reading Cooperative Bank put in place.
Reading Cooperative Bank is led by Julieann Thurlow, President and Chief Executive Officer, who was named as one of American Banker's 25 Women to Watch this year. RCB is one of a handful of institutions fighting against the tide of mutuals and cooperatives that are selling shares to the public. "These transactions ultimately result in the sale of the local bank and local asset to a regional bank, significantly enriching the senior leadership that took the bank public. The community loses its local bank, jobs are lost and philanthropy ceases,” Thurlow wrote in a recent letter to the bank’s depositors. She added, “This Bank is committed to maintaining our cooperative form of ownership.”